Buyer Enablement

Why it's time to stop using PDFs...

Why confine your documents to the static world of PDFs when there's a whole interactive digital world waiting to be explored?

Rory Sadler
January 19, 2023
March 20, 2024
Why confine your documents to the static world of PDFs when there's a whole interactive digital world waiting to be explored?
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PDFs have been with us for over two decades, since 1993. Salespeople have long used PDFs to send decks, presentations, proposals, case studies, one pagers and more.

They have a fixed layout, are large in size, slow to download, and unsuitable for digital consumption. They are especially terrible for contracting - a critical business function.

To achieve optimal business performance and remain competitive in the current digitally transforming world, you need to switch to a more dynamic format than PDFs.

Why should you stop using PDFs in sales? Let’s find out!

You can't track reader engagement using PDFs 

You can view how frequently your PDF was downloaded via landing pages. However, you’re unable to follow up on what happens to it afterwards. With PDFs, the journey of tracing customer data reaches a premature end.

You’ll never know whether the PDF was read or not, how long people engaged with it, the links they clicked, and the topics/pages they found interesting.

Your inability to track PDFs is bad for business since you can’t improve or optimise the content. It also hinders your leads or personalised follow-up.

PDFs are difficult to extract data from

Accessibility, analysis, and extraction of data from contracts are the most common methods you can employ to ensure the correct execution of agreements. Trying such methods on PDFs is difficult and time-consuming.

Sales contracts need to be simple to access and use for anyone who comes across them. Thus, using PDFs may limit access to a few people who have the time to download and read them.

Various document versions can't collaborate or interact with PDFs easily

PDFs are large documents that require downloading before you can access the information in them. They occupy storage space on your system, and it takes time to download a contract before sending it.

PDFs are often stored locally and thus can’t be used to collaborate easily among teams even when using the latest version.

PDFs are static, boring, and don’t let you include multimedia 

Currently, there’s a lot of content available out there. To stand out, your content must be well-crafted and appealing to your readers to cut through the competition.

Most people prefer visually captivating and easy to read content. They’re attracted to small bits of information, videos, and interactive, personalised content that’s quickly consumable.

To aesthetically enhance your content, you need to add images, hyperlinks and more. PDFs are compatible with these features but it’s not straightforward to add them as PDFs are more suited for printing. These features become obstacles when people view the content on their phones and behind their desks.

PDFs are static and boring. They lack the interactivity anticipated in digital content today, so you should consider more suitable alternatives like trumpet. 

You can’t email large files (usually 25 MB max)

Email platforms can’t send attachment files larger than 25MB. If your PDF is larger, you’ll need to compress it or find an alternative means to share it. This is inconvenient to a salesperson who relies on emails as their main method of sending invoices, catalogues, or even a sales presentation. 

Email attachments lack security features 

PDFs lack security features; you can't control the distribution or circulation of a shared file. You can’t update or recall already sent PDFs, and if the information therein is sensitive or private, it may find its way to unintended persons.

PDFs are always freely shared, and if you’ve gated a form behind the PDF, other people may benefit from your content without giving you their information.

Research has discovered that only 6% of recipients open their email attachments. This shows that emailing PDF files gives you a smaller market scope; you need to find a better way to achieve more.  

Spam filters can block attachments

PDF files are among the four most popular attachments often blocked by spam filters. This is because many PDF files have been found to conceal malware, and cybercriminals often hide phishing links in them.

If your PDFs are blocked, your ability to reach out to customers is utterly condensed.

PDFs are not mobile-friendly

PDFs have a fixed layout designed for desktop or print, but we live in a mobile-first generation where most of the information is accessed via phone.

Almost everyone uses a phone. However, people are unwilling to keep on zooming and turning around their phones to read the information that doesn’t fit their screens. Whether you’re sending documents on a B2B or B2C basis, it is best to use mobile-friendly formats.

Downloading PDFs on mobile gadgets is also a complicated task that requires a file manager app and a third-party PDF viewer. With such a process, most of your mobile audiences will give up on your file even before opening it.

What is the way forward?

Research has found that 90% of B2B sellers refrain from using sales material since it is irrelevant, outdated, and difficult to customise. Most of them use sales enablement to enhance customer satisfaction and quickly boost sales revenues.

PDFs were useful in their day, but technology and the current ways of doing things are phasing them out. Most B2B companies are now shifting away from PDFs and are seeking more engaging tools instead.

trumpet is a platform that creates personalised pods where your salesteam and buyers can collaborate together. Pods are replacing sales decks and PDFs entirely with interactive, collaborative, and centralised spaces to create a more seamless experience for your customers. 

How does trumpet help you?

  • Use a digital sales pod instead of a sales deck to stay ahead of your competition. Digital sales pods are online dynamic closing tools devised like microsites for salespeople
  • You get a peep into your prospects’ minds. You can view when your sales leads open your pods, who they forward them to, and any comments or interactions
  • You can save your reps up to 10 hours per week when it comes to creating and personalising sales content for each and every customer with trumpet’s automatically branded Pods 

The world has moved on digitally, and so should you. It’s time to focus on what consumers need most.

  • A collaborative and interactive format
  • Mobile-friendly, accessible, and engaging info
  • A visual and aesthetic format
  • Bite-sized information that’s easy to digest